Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Keeper Of The Calendar

  • The Elvis Glasses
  • The Elvis Show
  • Acquisitions
  • Tipitina's Studio At Last

Monday, I woke up after having gotten pretty much a full 8 hours of sleep.
The debacle of Sunday was over. The day I had watched football at the casino, instead of with Howard, at his home across the river; and still felt a bit remiss.

Sometime around sunup I had broken my sleep to get up and shut the sports talk radio off, as the guys had started to repeating themselves as they dissected Sunday's games.

I wasn't worried about running the AAA batteries down in the cheap radio, because the 54 dollars that I wound up with after busking Friday and Saturday was having me thinking about the CD player slash AM/FM radio that I had seen at the Goodwill store for about $14.

It might have a better antenna than the cheap radio, being larger, allowing me to broaden my horizons by tuning in stations that are new to me from far away lands, and would most likely not generate the annoying low hum coming from the speakers that the cheap radio does (an electrical grounding issue, probably). I would instantly start saving money on AAA batteries, which I could credit against the 14 that I would be investing.

And, maybe even more importantly. I can enter the world of the 2 dollar music CD shelf at the Goodwill, a quick glance over which having already revealed to me a John Mayer CD, entitled "Heavier Things," one of the Talking Heads albums, and a Counting Crows work.

I'm not sure if I like John Mayer's stuff, I guess I will just have to see for myself if I do....

I might even be able to find a way to burn music onto blank discs using these computers at Sacred Heart, or at the library, or at Tipitina's (which I will I get to later).

It was a beautiful afternoon for a bike ride. My first stop was to put 25 dollars on the green American Express card. The minimum amount that I can load onto the card is 20 dollars, so I have wound up putting just about all the cash on me onto the card as a first transaction, and then spending that same money back off the card with purchases, leaving the balance at below 20 dollars.

So, after cat food and some fruit for myself out of the Ideal Market and a pack of all natural American Spirit cigarettes, I pedaled up to the Goodwill; giving myself an internal pep talk, telling myself about all the money I would save on batteries and how I just might find Elvis Costello music in the 2 dollar CD rack and be able to memorize a few songs off them, and then go on to make enough money outside the theater (in 4 days) to pay for the new CD player slash radio several times over. I was trying to make sure I didn't change my mind.

Another Aspect of Sobriety

It is another aspect of sobriety, I have just realized as I start on my 9th month of sobriety, that I don't have to talk myself, as vehemently, out of buying things that I have the money for and which I would enjoy having, out of fear that I will regret it. Drinking money will run out in the near future, and I will regret it.

Having a whole list of things, from a good variety of foods in copious amounts, a movie to watch, a CD to listen to, bath salts to soak in, coffee and a newspaper, a new harmonica and new strings to play, plenty of good reading, a jigsaw puzzle, a crossword puzzle, extra food for the cat, clean litter in its box, and all kinds of toiletries to include sharp "triple-blade" razors, art supplies and even invisible tape for sticking stuff up on the walls, and having tobacco and yet having just a small amount of cash is not as scary a scenario, 9 months sober.

I left Goodwill with an even better CD player slash radio than the one that I had seen a few days prior, but which was no longer there.
Stuff disappears quickly out of that particular Goodwill, but this time something had disappeared only to be replaced by a better version of itself at the same price. It is, I believe, a Fischer brand and would have been the cat's meow in 1985, with detachable stereo speakers, that I could circumvent by using my amplified ones with the sub woofer.

I got back to the apartment with a Rock Star Energy drink, a can of coconut milk, instant coffee, two 8 ounce jars of molasses that had been only a dollar each, and the CD player slash radio, wrapped mummy-like in packing tape; so tight that I hadn't been able to discern if the thing had an external FM "whip" antenna attached.

After cutting away the tape, I discovered something even better than the whip antenna, essentially a screw labeled "FM antenna." I believe I can attach to the screw a dedicated "external FM antenna" and get "no static at all" when listening to NPR radio on 89.9 FM.

This is an advancement in "education" for me.

I could have given the 15 bucks to Ed and Rose on the TV that I owe 20 dollars on, but the fortuitousness of coming across those items, and how they appeared in such synchronicity with other things and in an almost deducible order, made me want to snatch them up.

Today, I was at the same Dollar Tree, on my way to get the new eyeglasses that the Daughters of Charity Hospital optometry nurse had told me were ready.

I had already stopped and straightened out the food stamp situation by reporting that I was actually working "at least 30 hours a week," and so, I didn't need assistance in finding work through their program, etc. I would not have to sit and learn how to write a resume when I could be busking.

And since the "LA Works" place is in the same building as the Goodwill, I went in there and bought "Stars and Stripes (vol 1)" by The Beach Boys in collaboration with other artists. I am looking forward to hearing it and hoping that it will give me suggestions about how I could cover Beach Boys songs myself; although the Wikipedia page for the album called it a "failure," and said that the critics hated it.

I also grabbed a VHS (double tape) copy of the movie: "Schindler's List," the back cover of which saying it was "great" and that the critics loved it.

I heard a somewhat familiar sounding voice, fumbling for my name and turned to see none other than Jim, the artist.

Jim is an artist in the French Quarter and is a person whom I ran into once when I was about 7 days sober, on a stretch that would endure 28 days.* And, I would run into him repeatedly and almost always in some way connected to sobriety. Like, someone would offer me a drink and I would refuse and then go around the corner and almost bump into him, types of occasions.

*that was the time that, on the 28th day, I found a full bottle of Chivas Regal scotch sitting in a box with some other trash with which it comprised evidence of a party. A party where booze was provided, some of the finest, but at which it was learned that nobody, or very few people drank.
If I were to find the same bottle now, I would shove it in my backpack and give it to someone.

Jim asked me how I was doing, and was everything good?

Everything was good; and since that was the fruit of my having made the decision to stop drinking, I told Jim about my 250 days or so sober. He congratulated me and then told me that he had to run, because he was recording something at Tipitina's.

Tipitina's is a place that I had tried to find on at least a few occasions.

It turned out to be right across the street, in what used to be a motel, and so it looked like a motel.
Jim said that he has recorded several CDs there, and that there is a 15 dollar fee for a month of being a member of the club, but that you only have to pay for months that you are actually planning upon using the place during.

He said other things about the place which answered all of the questions that I would have had, had I ridden over there to see the place and to meet this and that person, etc.

I am home, hoping to brush up on some material, write additional verses for a song or two; and then basically record a CD at Tipitina's.

I rode past the place and it reminded me of a YMCA where, instead of a swimming pool and a basketball court there are music studios. It is some kind of organization that is funded by some entity and is basically there to help local musicians record CDs in order to advance their careers.
It just looked like a motel; albeit one with huge murals of music legends on the sides of it.

The sun was hot on me when I lugged my bike outside into the parking lot, but there was a cool draft seeming to be coming from somewhere; like being near an air conditioned building that has its doors wide open. "Could these be the drafts of October, I am feeling; harbingers of Old Man Winter?" I thought before riding off.

I Used To Live Here

Coming Soon!! Another installment of "I Used To Live Here," about the cave that I chiselled out of part of the rock shown below.

It was my memory of the petroglyphs on the rock above it that gave me the idea of trying to find the cave through Google images...
Learn how I discovered that I was on sacred ground....

DIRECTIONS: Begin the on Holbert Trail and hike roughly 0.1 mile to a point where the trail drops into a sandy wash where there are fire rings and seating. This is Box Canyon. The canyon runs east-west.
Most of the petroglyphs are located high on the canyon walls. To see even more rock art, backtrack and follow Holbert Trail for about 0.2 mile through “rock art alley” where most of the glyphs are fenced off in an effort to preserve them. FYI: the fire rings, corrals and seating in the canyon are used by various nearby stables that offer hayrides, horse rentals and cookout packages.


alex carter said...

To receive AM well, you need to have a large ferrite antenna, which is inside the radio; don't take your radio apart, you'll ruin it. What you want is to do some internet research and find out which radio is good for "AM DX" - "DX" stands for distance. The C. Crane CC Radio is a good one, but expensive. The most bang for the buck radio is the G.E. "Superradio". For FM, you got the best thing, a radio with an attachment for an external antenna. You can literally attach that to a TV antenna (the FM radio band sits between some of the lower VHF channels) so if your apartment has a TV antenna on the roof and a place on the wall to hook up to it, you can try that.

alex carter said...

Tipitina's reminds me of some places here that you basically can't find unless you know someone who goes to them, and follow that person when they go there. If you can record some CDs and put colorful cover art on them, tourists will buy them and you may find yourself making 2X-3X what you do now.

As for drinking, my experiment with dabbling in it is over. I honestly can't understand what the allure was in the first place. It doesn't taste good or make me feel good. And it screws up my sleep! I remember decades ago noticing that even drinking one beer before bed would mess up my sleep, so this makes sense. I can't believe how *much* my body got acclimated to taking in, just to feel normal. When more recently one standard shot (30ml) was something I really felt. So yeah zero drinking is best.

Daniel McKenna said...

I really thought that I had hit some kind of plateau and my biochemistry had completely normalized to where it would stay as long as I continued sober; but, the psychological benefit; of experiencing the care-free existence of one who doesn't chase the 2 dollars that the wind just blew out of his tip hat because they are like the first 2 beers of the day getting away from him; and the different attitudes about money i.e. It's OK to only have $1.38 in your pocket because you just acquired a CD player slash radio that you are going to enjoy for years to come. And you're not just going to be returning it in less than 7 days for a refund because a tropical storm is coming in and you are not going to be able to make any cash for at least the next 3 days....

One of my favorite toys ever was the AM/FM "high performance" radio that I got from Radio Shack (on sale for $59.99, regularly $79.99) which had, along with a whip antenna that served most people's FM reception needs, given that FM stations rarely have ranges over say 90 miles, also had a jack for an external FM antenna and, yes TV antennas, while also being in the right sensitivity range, come in amplified versions; not necessarily greatly expanding the radius of stations that you can pick up, because FM is funny that way -clear and static free up to a certain distance from the signal where it is like the reception falls off a cliff- but making the fringe stations less prone to fade in and out.
And it had a jack for an AM loop antenna, a TUNE-ABLE loop antenna, which you would basically set to the same frequency as that on the radio's dial.
Tuning the thing, combined with re-positioning it, trying every height and angle; I was able to sit in Charlottesville, Va, on a quiet night and listen to a certain oldies show from a station in Buffalo, New York, or, if the Monday Night Football game isn't being carried by the big syndicate because it's just The Washington Redskins vs. the Kansas City Chiefs; no problem; I would just listen to it on the St. Louis station (770 AM?) or, if I wanted to hear the bias of the Washington D.C. announcers, there was 550 AM, WCAP...

Yeah, I loved my radio; it's just that, with my apartment being almost in the basement of a building which sits like 3 feet above sea level; I wouldn't get the same enjoyment out of even a C Crane radio, which I'm well aware that I could buy for 3 easy payments of $39.99 right from Art Bell LOL